For more than 4,000 years, men and women have kept fish, first in ponds and later in tanks. It comes as no surprise then that today they have become the second most popular pet in America. More than 7.4 million U.S households have aquarium fish!
For many of us fish were our first pets, or more specifically gold fish. It is probably a safe assumption to say that at one time or another all of us have had a gold fish. The reason for this is that the gold fish happen to be the most popular of all the aquarium fish in the world.
The Chinese were the first to breed gold fish for their beauty and color over 1,000 years ago. Around 1500 they were exported to Japan, and with their growing popularity they made their way over to Europe by the 1600s. Gold fish were prevalent in America by the 1800s.
With hundreds of different species of fish out there you may be wondering why the rather simple gold fish has grown to be the most popular. The reason is because they can stand almost any living condition. Gold fish are cold-water fish, which means unlike most aquarium fish they do not need heated water. In fact they can live in water that is almost freezing, it is best however if the water is between 46-64 degrees F. In the wild the life span of a common gold fish is over 20 years! Gold fish kept in small bowls however usually only live for a year or two. If you want your gold fish to live a long life it is best to keep it in a good quality tank with a filter. If you take good care of your gold fish he can live for 15 to 25 years!